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Childs Trans-Femoral

(Above Knee) Prosthesis

Design Process Book
Designed for
Simple Limb Initiative
by Kyle McCormick
Simple Limb Initiative:
Project Description
Low end-user cost prosthesis <$30
Adjustable for growth
Allow Colombian children to actively
work, play, and socially interact with
a semblance of normalcy.
Colombia is the worlds second
most heavily land-mined country.
Its total area is roughly twice the
size of California and the most
heavily mined areas are shown
at left in red. The 3.6 million+
landmines deployed since
the 1960s claimed a recorded
10,000+ victims since 1990
alone. The majority of these
victims are children.
The Land Mine Toll
Formative Research
There is a 41.9% dependency
ratio in Colombia, meaning that
a large chunk of the population
is made up of dependent
youth who need education and
provision for until they reach
an age and ability to become
a self-sufcient member of
Children of Colombia
Income inequality in Colombia is some of the worst
in the world, and despite being up almost 10%
since 2008, there is still over 32% of the population
living below the poverty level. Estimations are that
the poverty level in rural areas, where approximately
1/4th of the population resides, is close to double
that, with closer to 64% of the population living in
poverty thanks in large part to land displacement
due to violence, confict and the drug trade.
Rural Poverty
Colombias natural resources include
petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron
ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds,
hydro power.
Only about 5% of Colombias
arable land is cultivated limited by
harsh terrain and limited irrigation.
Agriculture and usable crops include
cofee, corn, sugar/sugar cane,
bananas, fresh-cut fowers, tobacco,
yucca, plantains, potatoes, cocoa,
rice, cassava, sorghum, palm oil,
beans, and a few illicit plants. Resources
Bamboo is
a plentiful,
resource that is
a strong building
Colorful Culture
Colombias ethnic diversity contributes a great deal
to its unique culture, much of which revolves around
its own Cumbia style of music which is a fusion of
African beat with that of native Colombian tribes
with a tinge of Caribbean-infuenced fair as well as
many festivals of the Catholic faith of 90% of the
Colombians love their sports. Soccer
(ftbol) is of course the most widely
played and enjoyed pastime, and can be
played by any able-bodied person in any
area, even remote villages.
Sports and Pastimes
Colombias extremely vaired and colorful
crafts range from the ornate Pasto
Lacquer; a layered natural resin and wood
combination that creates elaborate and
extremely vivid colorful table wares to
moden Sombrero Vueltiao. Mola fabric is a
bright and beautifully woven textile of the
Kuna people, Ruana garments and pottery
are found in the people of Rquira, and
the elegant handcrafted bamboo Guadua
furniture is associated with the craftsmen
of the Paisa region.
Handicrafts Distribution Partner
Catholic Church
Distribution Partner
Catholic Church
Partner Benefts:
Wide reach
Safe Travel
Trust of locals
Catholic Relief Services is
working to deliver humanitarian
aid to Colombians and their host
communities; meet needs for food
and non-food assistance; provide
psychological, social and legal
-Catholic Relief Services
Our Team Design Approach
25% Local Material 25% 3D Printing
25% Mass Production 25% Local Craftsman
3D Printed
Mass Produced
Local Material
Mass Produced
Custom Made
Design Strategy
Custom Fit
3D Printing
Mass Production
- Joint
Local Material
- Bamboo
- Foot & Hand
Knee Evolution
Bottom half of wood
knee cracked.
Acrylic knee showed
7 8
10 11
Melted ABS knee v.1
with reprint v.2
Acrylic knee v.2
from solid
blocks was
highly functional.
Wood knee v.2
cracked under load.
Above Knee Prosthesis
Concept 1:
Wood Knee Joint
PVC Joinery
Bamboo Pylon
PVC Joinery
Polycarbonate Foot
Polycarbonate, which was
my frst material of choice
in constructing a foot, is
both hard to source inside
Colombia, and is not
indistructable as our testing
surprisingly found.
Above Knee Prosthesis
Concept 2:
Bamboo Pylon
PVC Joinery
Wood Veneer Foot
Bent laminate wood fabricating was a
new process to me, but turned out to
be pretty successful. It has potential
for application in a foot, but repeated
stress may cause the wood to crack
and separate as some testing showed,
and its a labor-intensive process that is
limited in its shapes.
Above Knee Prosthesis
Concept 3:
Bamboo Pylon
PVC Joinery
Bent Stainless Sheet
Metal Foot
Learning to braze
to attach the
ankle adjustment
mechanism to the
revised stainless
Stainless steel foot
is easy to bend
and fabricate and
allows a durable
shock absorbing
foot for natural gait.
Stainless Foot v.2
More Ideation
3-axis adjustable
knee inspired by
christmas tree stand.
User Needs for Leg
Walk Forward
Walk Backward
Ride Bike
Play / Sports
Work in Field
Work at Home
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ychological Needs 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Aesthetic
Metal Parts
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Decision Matrix
Heat treating bamboo
to strengthen. Creates
beautiful brown patina.
3D Printed ABS socket
can be printed in-
country in one piece or
two halves like this one.
Incorporated pattern
allows airfow to limb
as well as a woven
Fabricating custom
stainless pivot hinges
for knee.
Machining acrylic knee
v.2 to accept hardware.
Bending fnal stainless
foot v.3 to optimize
walking shape and
soccer toe.
Simulated powder
coating of hardward to
appear less cold and
Bill of Materials
1 -Custom 3D printed ABS socket ~ $10 of material
1 - Injection molded upper knee - $2.25/part @10,000 units*
1 - Injection molded lower knee - $2.50/part @10,000 units*
1 - 1.5 diameter bamboo pylon- locally sourced $ free
1- Rubber foot tread - locally sourced from recycled bike tire $ free
1 - 5x8 3/32 acrylic fairing - $.88 **8589K35 (out of 48x96)
1 - 1.75 ID x1.5 16ga steel ankle tube -$.47 **7767T291
1 - 5x1.5 30ga aluminum ankle shim - $.50 **9708K81
1 - Stainless sheetmetal foot (4x16 16ga) - $4.02 **8983K355
2 - 1.5 12ga stainless brackets - $.20 **8983K358
1 - 1.25 12ga stainless bracket $.08 **8983K358
3 - 5/16-8 x 2.75 socket cap sc rews - $1.69 **91251A594
1 - 5/16-8 x 1.75 socket cap sc rews - $.28 **91251A589
8 - 8-32 x1/4 stainless cone point set screws $1.08 **92785A190
4 - 5/16 Nylon locknuts - $.33 **90715A005
1 - 36x1.5 flat nylon webbing - $1.14 ***
2 - 24x3/4 flat nylon webbing - $1.12 ***
1 - 1.5 Side release buckle - $.43 ***
4 - 3/4 plastic slides- $.72
* price quotes based off (custompartnet.com) injection molded part estimator
**denotes McMaster-Carr part number. These are retail prices reflected
above, in volume I estimate approx. 1/4 the cost.
*** reflect bulk price from (strapworks.com)
1 -Custom 3D printed ABS socket
2 - Injection molded upper knee
3 - Injection molded lower knee
8 - 4x 5/16 socket
head cap screw
11 - 2x #4 x 3/4 socket
head cap screw
10 - 3 x 12ga stainless bracket
9 - 4x 5/16 nylon
insert locknuts
9 - 2x #4 nylon
insert locknuts
7 - 3 axis adj. ankle joint
4 - Bamboo pylon
6 - Stainless Foot
5 - Acrylic Fairing
Exploded Views
(1) 5/16x 1.5
(1) #5 allen key
(3) 5/16x 2.75 (4) 5/16 locknuts
(2) #4 locknuts (2) #4x3/4
(2) 1.5bracke (1) 1.25bracket
(1) #2.5 allen key (1) small crescent wrench (1) #2 allen key
Custom Parts:
Individually scanned and printed
3D Socket for perfect fit
Fabricated Parts :
Hand bent 16ga stainless sheet foot
for foot
Bend points
Assembly Instructions:
3D print socket.
If printed in two
pieces, epoxy
Epoxy socket to
top half of
included knee.
Insert 2 long bolts
through the long
brackets and outer
holes, through to
outer bracket and
12 3
6 5 4
Insert 1 long bolt
through the bottom
of short bracket in
slot into locknut.
Insert short bolt
through bracket into
mid section and
secure with locknut.
Source 1.5 dia
bamboo pylon.
Insert into knee
bottom and secure
with two small #4
socket screws and
#4 locknuts.
Insert bamboo pylon
into ankle joint and
secure and adjust
angle with 8 set
Attach fairing to
front of knee.
Pre-assembly Pieces
Fairing Options
The fairing represents a point of end-user customizability to tailor their prosthesis to their own
style and needs. It can function sans fairing, but may beneft from some added protection
and fair with one attached to its universal 2 diameter lower knee. This allows for quickly
fabricating a fairing out of 2 ID PVC pipe and covering it in cloth, leaving it bare, or even heat
bending a piece of laser cut acrylic.
4-Bar linkage injection-
molded knee. Allows for
stability, natural gait and
full range of motion.
3 - axis adjustable ankle.
Rotational, fore/aft, and side-to-side
individualized adjustment controlled
by set screws.
Locally sourced bamboo
pylons are cheap, incredibly
strong, replaceable to
accomodate growth and
wear, and sustainable.
3D Printed socket allows for
personalized perfect ft to
the stump. Retention straps
help keep leg frmly secured
even during active sports.
Context Shots: